2S6 LIFE OF of this plan. He continued to his latest years, how- ever, in producing fragments of the finest and most characteristic works, Fifteen are included in the second volume of his collected works, and several of these must have been written, or at least commenced, between 1792 and 1795. Hunaboldt is acknowledged to be one of the best translators, and his works on this field of literature^ especially his " Agamemnon/' rank with those of the first. If they occasionally seera heavy, or un-German., the fault lies more in the rigidity* of his principles in respect- to metre and rhythm, and in the extreme difficulty of the works he had selected. He was, however, not exclusively employed in studying the character of Greek art., but also that of modern," especially of German poetry. The more the ancient poets cultivated his sesthetical perceptions^ the less did he overlook the great works of his fellow- countrymen. And now, at the time when he had been so strengthened by his studies, fate introduced Mm to those poets who? on the point of approaching the ideal of art in emulation of the ancients, and of perfecting their natural capabilities by theoretical cri- ticism, could scarcely work, without a fellow-labourer who had thoroughly mastered the knowledge of the ancients., and whose judgment was not waxped by modem prejudices, How often Humboldt regretted a modern or superficial comprehension of the Greeks in other cotemporaries-^-in Herder, Woltmann, even in Schlegel! Schiller and Goethe needed a mind who possessed as much knowledge of that former world as sympathy for modern art3 as much independent know- ledge as interest in the laboiirs of others. As Lessing was dead, none could have sufficed but Humboldt. He alone could fully enter into the plans of these great men5 and assist them by criticism *and specula- tion. By the friendship of these three, the modern philosophy of art was founded., partly by a more pro- found study of the nature of the human imagination, but principally by comparative criticism of ancient saaA modem poetry.